You’ll invariably have to interact with a landlord when you’re looking to rent. Some people have a positive relationship with their landlords, as they’re helpful and understanding so that a constructive relation can be built. However, if you’re one of the unfortunate ones dealing with an uncooperative proprietor, you already know you’ve got your work cut out for you. Given the nature of the connection, you may feel apprehensive about taking action against your landlord.
And while you must not fall down the path of becoming an unreasonable tenant yourself, as that can do more harm than good, you must also know your rights to manage the situation better. You might even be able to come up with a strategy that helps you get along better with the proprietor.
Table of Contents
1. Be respectful
To build a favourable relationship with your landlord, you must first behave in a way that leaves no room for reproach. Being on your best behaviour helps so that your landlord won’t have any reason to rebuke you. There are more aspects that you should keep in mind when it comes to your behaviour, and you should try to stick to as many of them as possible:
As much as possible, you should try to pay your rent accordingly. Like your credit score, when you pay in time, you build an image of yourself as reliable and trustworthy. Of course, there may be months when you struggle to deliver right on time. If that’s the case, you should let your landlord or landlady know. Don’t let them figure it out by themselves when the time for rent is due and you haven’t shown up yet.
3. Look after the property
It’s important to be respectful of the place you’re inhabiting, even if you don’t own it. Keep everything clean and don’t damage the furniture, appliances or walls. Not only will you be liable for extra payments, but it also creates the image of an unruly, disorderly person, and no landlord wants to deal with that. If there’s pre-existing damage in the apartment, be it scratches on the countertop, a faulty showerhead, or a headboard that’s chipped, cracked or torn, you must let your landlord know as soon as possible to avoid any confusion as to who is responsible for it.
4. Call when necessary
If you’re dealing with problems that you can’t manage on your own, you should call your landlord. When something malfunctions, like in the case of a bathroom water leak or malfunctioning wiring, you need to phone them immediately. It can be quite dangerous to both your apartment and the building itself to leave it unattended. Reporting maintenance issues in a timely fashion is one of your obligations.
5. Know your rights
While you should always approach your landlord politely and respectfully, it’s also important to know your rights as a tenant. If you are aware of your prerogatives, you know what you should expect and what you shouldn’t, what’s normal and what isn’t.
For example, you should be aware of all the stipulations present in your rental agreement and existing laws regulating the landlord-tenant relationship. The legislation regulates the amount a landlord can demand in security deposits. It also protects your right to privacy and your prerogative not to be discriminated against.
If you believe your rights have been infringed, you are entitled to take legal action against your landlord or landlady. You can request the services of the expert lawyers at How To Sue if you’re looking for compensation for any injurious experience. The property owner owes you a duty of care as part of your agreement. Should this duty be breached in any way, you are within your rights to sue for compensation.
For example, if you have become injured due to your landlord’s negligence, you are eligible for a personal injury claim. Injuries can come in many forms and can either result from a slip and fall, faults with the electrical installations, mould or mildew, or hazardous construction materials that can harm your health.
The compensation you are liable to receive depends on the particularities of your case, which is why it’s essential to book a consultation with an expert as soon as possible to get further details.
6. Ensure communication
If you feel like there’s just no talking to the proprietor, and if they’re constantly going back on their word and claiming not to have said or not said certain things depending on the situation, you’ll have to develop ways to make sure proper communication is established. Keep in mind this may not be necessarily malicious on their part but also the result of forgetfulness.
After all, a landlord works with many tenants and can sometimes lose track of what they said to whom and when. To avoid further confusion, you should establish written communication via email or text if you feel your landlord wouldn’t take that as you are too familiar with them. This way, there’s a record of your conversations that you can always return to if necessary.
7. Consider the cost
If your landlord has repeatedly shown a cantankerous disposition, you’re definitely not thrilled to have to interact with them. However, you have an obligation to work with them, so you should try as much as possible to keep things smooth and avoid getting into much trouble. Remember, it’s crucial to pick your battles, so if something is not a pressing matter, you should try to not concern yourself with it.
If an issue is likely to make your apartment unlivable, you will want to address that, but otherwise, don’t pester the proprietor if something isn’t a high priority.
If you’ve started on the wrong foot, it can be challenging to establish a good relationship with your landlord. But it’s not impossible. It may take some time, but if you’re willing to do your part and become a model tenant, as well as do your research in order to learn what you should know to protect your rights, you’re bound to succeed.